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Sucker Punch

A 2011 fantasy-action film directed by Zack Snyder.

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A bland fantasy riddled with CGI and unoriginality.

  • Aug 30, 2011
** out of ****

Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" is reminiscent of a modern music CD; stylish, has a good tune to it, but ultimately has tedious and distracting messages that accompany any potential goodness. Here's a film that I imagine will find appeal, and an audience, beyond those who are referred to as "film snobs". Oh, I have been called that many times, and I assume that I will be called it again for reviewing "Sucker Punch" and not liking it. People seem to be wondering how you could possibly not enjoy a film like this, although I think the answer is in plain sight.

Why would you like something that's all CGI video-game-esque fight scenes and no substance? That's right, what you've heard is so, so correct; "Sucker Punch" is indeed the film that most critics make it out to be. It's loud, action-packed, visually impressive, and assaults the intelligence and the senses as much as it possibly can. I'm not saying that this makes it a bad movie; I'm just saying that it keeps it from being a good one. Snyder is a very visual director, and I can't deny that he was able to be creative here (this is his first original work), but he's unable to come up with a story that is able to choose between tones of misogyny and pro-feminism.

But not everyone will have these problems. I can imagine that some movie-goers will go along for the ride and think that this is some sort of intelligent, one-of-a-kind surreal mind-game. These are, of course, people who have not yet seen what TRULY qualifies, to me or anyone who LIKES surrealism, as a "surrealist film". They might be impressed by the imagery here, label it as dream-like, and watch the film again because they like the feeling. But if this were a dream, would it be inhabited by such corny dialogue and lazy storytelling? I think not; dreams don't need to make sense, so why try?

Set some time in the 1960's, the film involves a 20-year-old orphan girl nicknamed Babydoll (Emily Browning) who attempts to escape her sexually abusive stepfather, which puts her in a mental institution when the plan fails. It is there that Babydoll meets four other young women; Rocket (Jena Malone), Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung). Babydoll is commited to escaping her reality, as most emotionally tortured souls (in movies) do, and when she discovers that the sole purpose of every women in the facility (minus Carla Gugino's character; a teacher) is to dance for the pleasure of men, Babydoll is conflicted even more.

However, when she tries to dance; she discovers that using her imagination to transport her to a new world, where she fights evil beings and tries to obtain certain items in her time out of this universe, is the only way that will help her to dance; and she dances real good, so her onlookers say. To help her in her other-world conquests, she asks her fellow girls for help; and they agree. And so ensues the countless, mindless, but visually appealing action sequences to come.

People compare the action sequences to those found in Video Games, and I can't argue with that. They DO feel like video game material, which makes it all the more strange when you find them in a freaking movie. I always expected Snyder would go along and make something like this, but I never would have imagined that it would end up being the first film in his career that I just didn't care for. Some people hate the film and others quite enjoyed it, and me, I just can't decide; either way, I'm going to forget it easily.

In a film filled to the top with flying dragons, zombie Nazi VS human gunfights, and scenes of men overpowering women (fun, fun, fun!), you kind of have to wonder how somebody could screw the thing up. If only Snyder hadn't written such stupid dialogue, and hadn't attempted such a failed excuse for a story, then maybe, just maybe, this would have passed as a fun action flick; but nope. It just doesn't work out. Not to mention the absolutely annoying remakes of classic psychedelic songs (such as "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" and "White Rabbit") I don't recommend this movie, it just isn't good enough, and I don't like it all that much. It looks good, hell, it was FUN to look at; but the images don't MEAN anything. I highly doubt that Snyder is a dreamer, and a surrealist filmmaker he is not. I expected dumb fun, and I didn't quite get the second part of that phrase. And this is why "Sucker Punch" is disappointing.

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More Sucker Punch reviews
review by . March 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Zack Snyder Genre-Busting Fantasy Film Punches You Like A Sucker!!
I’ve always said that Zack Snyder has the ability to take on an adaptation of the some of pop culture’s most groundbreaking creations such as with “300”, “Watchmen”, “Legend of the Guardians” and even succeeded with the remake of “Dawn of the Dead”. I’ve always seen Snyder as the ultimate fan boy and he knows what he likes and likes these things for a reason. I’ve also wondered how he would fare if Snyder was inspired to write …
review by . March 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
When Zack Snyder made 300 it suffered from the joke of being homoerotic because it was populated with tons of scantily clad men.  The joke for Sucker Punch is sure to be that it's a fourteen year old kid's wet dream because it's populated with a ton of scantily clad women.  But it goes even further by having tons of women dressed in sexy attire but also wielding guns, swords, flying planes, fighting dragons and just blowing up everything in sight.  In short, Sucker Punch …
review by . May 02, 2011
This is clearly the fantasy of Zack Snyder and pretty much every male geek that the movie was marketed to. However, I am not into girls, so the hot girls in the movie had not influenced me to go and see this. Sucker Punch was a fantastically entertaining movie in my opinion, although it definitely has its problems. If you have read my Guilty Pleasures in Film blog, then you know that I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with style over substance, as long as the style is well done. Well, the …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   What happens when a guy falls asleep playing a video game - say Resident Evil or Lara Croft - who had previously spent the early morning hours playing an old throwback version of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter? Well most likely he's dreaming of girls who can kick ass... but might somehow resemble Sailor Moon. Yeah I said it.  The Sucker Punch trailers gave off the appearance of being something cool like a post-apocalyptic version of Annie, however the reality of the film had …
review by . March 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Sucker Punch Is No Suker Of A Movie, This Is Very Well Done
This weekend my daughter and myself ventured out to the show to see a new movie called "Sucker Punch", the name does not tell the whole story, so you have to see this to tell what it is all about. This movie is 109 minutes of action, fantasy, and thriller scenes. So, if this is what you are looking for in a movie, then yes you will be quite pleased with all of the action and computer graphics that this movie has to offer. In my book this show is done very well and it will keeps you in …
review by . March 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch is a strange one indeed. It’s at once an all-girl action spectacle, a phantasmagoric special effects extravaganza, and a philosophical examination of destiny, freedom, and the power of imagination – an offshoot of the mind, an endless road if ever there was one. There’s no doubt that the film is a technical achievement, but when it comes to plot, character, and theme, I can’t help but wonder: …
review by . March 25, 2011
'Sucker Punch' 'Two Jews On Film' Only One Thinks This Scored A Knock-Out (Video)
'Sucker Punch' is directed by Zach Snyder (300, Watchmen) It stars Emily Browning as Baby Doll, a girl who meets tragic circumstances in the 1950's.  The film opens with Baby Doll witnessing the murder of her mother and sister by her wicked stepfather...One look at his face and you can tell...this is a very bad man. Baby Doll manages to get her hands on a gun.  She aims it at Stepdaddy-dearest but instead of doing the smart thing and killing the evil creep, she drops …
review by . May 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - 110mins - Action/Adventure/Fantasy - 1st April 2011 Sucker Punch intrigued me before its release due to the seemingly random storyline and what looked like impressive graphics. So I sat down to watch it wondering whether I was going to enjoy the story it has to tell or be confused by it. Unfortunately it was the latter. Now I try and find both positives and negatives in everything I review but graphics aside (which were very enjoyable to watch and engaging) I struggled to for Sucker Punch. …
Quick Tip by . March 23, 2011
I'm very excited about Sucker Punch.  I'm a bit mixed on Zack Snyder's work, but I'm hoping that Sucker Punch falls in line with the brilliance of Watchmen and doesn't get  caught up in visual displays like 300.  Of course, explosions, hot chicks with big guns, and a cool soundtrack doesn't hurt this film's chances in my book!
Quick Tip by . March 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Plan on seeing this over the weekend. Hopefully it will be as bizarre as it looks...      UPDATE:      The tagline of Sucker Punch is "You will be unprepared." A more accurate tagline would have been "You will be unimpressed." But that wouldn't have helped to sell tickets. Director Zack Snyder has proven that he can deliver a stunningly visual cinematic experience when it comes to genre cinema. His film adaptations of graphic novels …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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This weekend my daughter and myself ventured out to the show to see a new movie called "Sucker Punch", the name does not tell the whole story, so you have to see this to tell what it is all about. This movie is 109 minutes of action, fantasy, and thriller scenes. So, if this is what you are looking for in a movie, then yes you will be quite pleased with all of the action and computer graphics that this movie has to offer. In my book this show is done very well and it will keeps you in your seat during the whole 109 minutes of run time. This is rated "PG-13", this is definitely not for the younger crowd, even though the 12 and younger crowd would probably enjoy this because of its intense action scenes, it may give them nightmares because of all of the violence that you will see in this show.
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Director: Zack Snyder
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Thriller
Release Date: March 25, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya
Runtime: 120 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
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